LANSING, Mich. – A state-level commission of education experts, teachers and policymakers will draft a new tool for evaluating teachers under Michigan’s new teacher tenure law, according to Michigan Public Radio.

The new law makes it easier for school districts to dismiss educators who are considered “ineffective” in the classroom, and also makes job performance the key element in determining layoffs, rather than seniority, according to MPR.

The commission will devise a tool for school districts to use in determining teacher effectiveness, MPR reported. The model is due to Gov. Rick Snyder by April 1, 2012, for implementation that year, according to MPR. In 2012, a teacher’s rating on the new evaluation tool will account for 20 percent of that educator’s rating; by 2014 it will account for half of the teacher’s rating, MPR reported.

In a change from past practice, MPR reported, evaluation methods will not be subject to collective bargaining between school districts and teachers.

State Rep. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, told MPR that the Legislature will vote on the final evaluation tool, but John Austin, president of the Michigan State Board of Education, told MPR he does not believe that’s the case.

Snyder will appoint the commission members, Austin told MPR.

SOURCE:

Michigan Public Radio, “Teacher tenure law requires new ‘evaluation tool’ for educators,” July 21, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Will Schools Keep Ignoring Teacher Effectiveness When Setting Pay?” July 22, 2011

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